April 8, 2019

House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

Vote on H.R. 1644, the “Save the Internet Act of 2019”

Dear Representative,

We at the R Street Institute (“R Street”) have been writing
and speaking about net neutrality for years,[1]
including by filing regulatory comments with both the Federal Communications
Commission (“FCC”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) on the matter.[2] However,
the longstanding regulatory battles over net neutrality are seemingly
intractable. For that reason, we have consistently called for Congress to
resolve the matter and provide long-term certainty to both industry and
consumers by codifying strong net neutrality protections into law through
bipartisan legislation.[3]

Unfortunately, H.R. 1644, the “Save the Internet Act of
2019,” is not bipartisan, as it merely seeks to restore the FCC’s 2015 Open
Internet Order, which was itself politically divisive and passed 3-2 on a
party-line vote. Instead of more hyperbole and sloganeering,[4]
Americans need genuine compromise and a fresh approach to net neutrality. That
is why R Street opposed efforts to simply restore the 2015 Open Internet Order
in the previous Congress,[5] and it
is why we oppose H.R. 1644 now.

There is significant scholarly debate over the impact that
Title II classification has had on network investment,[6] and over
the FTC’s ability to adequately safeguard net neutrality.[7] But the
core tenets of net neutrality enjoy substantial bipartisan support. Therefore,
members of both parties should be able to find common ground and agree upon a
bipartisan framework for net neutrality, and R Street has offered several
suggestions for them to consider.[8]

While we oppose H.R. 1644, we remain supportive of legislative
efforts in this area, and we would be happy to work with members of both
parties to craft a bipartisan resolution to the longstanding fight over net


Tom Struble


Technology and Innovation Policy

Joe Kane


Technology and Innovation Policy

Jeff Westling


Technology and Innovation Policy

Caroline Kitchens


Federal Government Affairs

Kristen Nyman


Government Affairs

[1] See, e.g.,
Tom Struble & Joe Kane, “R Sheet on Net Neutrality,” R Street Institute (Feb. 25, 2019), http://bit.ly/2OQVxyN; Joe Kane, “Joe
Kane Talks Net Neutrality on Mike Check,” R
Street Institute
(Dec. 18, 2017), http://bit.ly/2OTEwUp.

[2] See, e.g.,
Tom Struble & Joe Kane, “Comments of R Street Institute,” In re Restoring Internet Freedom, WC
Docket No. 17-108 (July 17, 2017), http://bit.ly/2OQ5wUZ; Tom Struble
& Joe Kane, “Reply Comments of R Street Institute,” In re Restoring Internet Freedom, WC Docket No. 17-108 (Aug. 30,
2017), http://bit.ly/2OYISdj;
Tom Struble et al., “Comments of R Street Institute,” In re Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Hearings—Topic
2: Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Communication, Information,
and Media Technology Networks
, Docket No. FTC-2018-0049 (Aug. 14, 2018), http://bit.ly/2OYISdj.  

[3] See, e.g.,
Tom Struble, “Codifying Net Neutrality Through Bipartisan Legislation,” R Street Institute (March 14, 2018), http://bit.ly/2uKcIc6;
Tom Struble, “The FCC’s Computer Inquiries: The Origin Story Behind Net
Neutrality,” Morning Consult (May 23,
2017), http://bit.ly/2OTEVX5.

[4] See Joe Kane, “Does
the Internet Still Exist!?!?!: Fact-checking Net Neutrality Doomsday
Predictions,” R Street Institute (June
11, 2018), http://bit.ly/2uT7Q4d.

[5] See Sasha Moss
& Tom Struble, “R Street Coalition Letter to Encourage Members to Find a
Legislative Solution to Net Neutrality and Not Sign on to the CRA,” R Street Institute (Sept. 18, 2018), http://bit.ly/2uNaU1M.

[6] See, e.g.,
Joe Kane, “Net Neutrality’s Effect on Investment: It’s Complicated,” R Street Institute (Dec. 12, 2017), http://bit.ly/2ORTVVe.

[7] See, e.g.,
Roslyn Layton & Tom Struble, “Net Neutrality Without the FCC?: Why the FTC
Can Regulate Broadband Effectively,” 18 Fed.
Soc. Rev
. 132 (2017), http://bit.ly/2OQTL0B.

[8] See, e.g.,
Tom Struble, “Codifying Net Neutrality Through Bipartisan Legislation,” R Street Institute (March 14, 2018), http://bit.ly/2uKcIc6.

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